A contest from Black Press Media and Save-On-Foods that will see $10,000 in groceries delivered to five BC winners and their local food banks this week comes as welcome relief during what is a challenging time for many.
The delivery was the culmination of the Heart & Soul of the Community contest, which saw $12,000 in total won across Western Canada. In all, the contest received more than 32,000 entries from communities across British Columbia, Central Alberta and the Yukon, with readers aiming to win $1,000 in groceries for themselves, plus another $1,000 in groceries for their local food bank.
“I was so grateful when I saw that email – this couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Julie Pittendrich, winner from the Kootenay region, whose matching $1,000 donation is going to the Nelson Community Food Centre.
Andrew Creighton, Community Relations Manager for the Food Centre, notes that for safety protocols, they’re not accepting donations of food, so cash and gift card donations are even more valuable.
“Gift cards are particularly handy because we can pop them into the bags or hampers that we give to the people who come to us for food,” Creighton said.
In the Okanagan, winner Lisa Pittman notes that as a stay-at-home mom whose husband is in the construction industry, “it’s definitely going to help us out, especially at this time right now.”
On Vancouver Island, Eleanor Nicolaye was thrilled to win the $1,000 in Save-On-Foods gift cards for her family, plus another $1,000 for the Campbell River Food Bank, where the need will only grow with the economic implications of the current COVID-19 crisis.
“I’m really excited that the Campbell River Food Bank would benefit from this as well. I know in the past, before I got a job, I depended on it, and especially at this time, with the pandemic happening, a lot of people are going to depend on that,” Nicolaye said.
From the Lower Mainland region, Christine Kampen also thanked Black Press Media and Save-On-Foods for the contribution to the Abbotsford Food Bank. “It wasn’t only for the winners but supporting the local food bank, and that’s something that will really be needed now because as people lose jobs or are laid off even temporarily, there will be people using food banks who never thought they’d be using one.”